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Old 07-24-2006, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
119 posts, read 630,109 times
Reputation: 68

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MapFreak,

I hope your comments weren't aimed at me???? I wouldn't be moving to Colorado if I didn't like it, and I'm not set out to destroy Coloradoans and their culture. Connecticut is nowhere near hell so I can't bring any evil with me. Don't worry.
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:01 PM
 
17 posts, read 19,651 times
Reputation: 11
No Curious in CT, it's not aimed at you.
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Old 07-25-2006, 01:24 AM
 
82 posts, read 505,500 times
Reputation: 53
Question How does one afford it?

OK - so we're thinking about making the move, right, and we're crunching the numbers...
How do two teachers make it in the Denver area?!?

I mean, this is a serious question. Am I missing something?

Here are the details:
2 teachers - avg salary of 38K each = 76K per year, or $4100 per month after taxes.

Expenses:
rent - one bedroom apt = $700 (is this fair?)
2 car payments
2 car insurance
gasoline
cable + internet = $80(?)
food = $300 (accurate?)
utilities = $150 (oil + electric -- correct?)
phone
student loans
cell phone
(notice that there is no retirement savings in here anywhere)

When I add it all up, and consider other occasionals, like doctors, car repair, gifts, and - gasp - a little entertainment, we're in the red.

So, am I really living extravagantly, or do two teachers in CO really live check to check?

We're concerned...
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:27 AM
 
82 posts, read 505,500 times
Reputation: 53
At the risk of being crass or impolite, may I ask others in CO what they make in a year? I'm curious what the average salary is, and how people get by.

Thanks
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:05 AM
Status: "October is the eighth month" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,678 posts, read 28,495,910 times
Reputation: 6842
some teachers make more than that, and some less.
We have electric and gas bills. East Coast = oil. In some apts heat/ac is included in your rent along with water and sewer.

I do not know how much your car or student loans are, but cut back on extras until they are paid off. Concentrate on the one with the highest rate, and once paid off, move that money to the next one. Once the 4 loans are gone start saving for a place of your own.

if you both have cell phones, then ditch the land line. If you both have internet access thru work or wireless at a coffee shop, ditch the home internet. Don't eat out, unless a very special occaision. I feed my family of 5 on $300 a month.

pay off
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:47 AM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,797,930 times
Reputation: 18082
Default America is Driving to the Poorhouse

1. Excellent advice from 2BinDenver, really good. My spending on 2 cells and one land-line phone, cable TV & high-speed internet totals about $225 per month. Your advice in this area is perfect. A ripe target for savings.

2. Rent. I think $700 may be on the low side, a web search will help nail down more realistic numbers.

3. Being a teacher is one of the few jobs in this country, at least in suburbia, where you can truly live where you work, i.e., you may walk to work. The need to drive everywhere in America pushes my buttons - I think the auto lobby works behind the scenes to assure that zoning laws keep our homes and our worksites quite a distance apart, assuring a market for cars (end of paranoid rant). If you can get rid of 1 sheet-metal-monster you may save yourself as much as $500 per month on car payments, car insurance, gasoline, taxes, tags and maintenance. That's the BULK of a rent check! This is a prime opportunity - for everyone. That's one reason I like Colorado Springs so much, all of the offices here are spread out, no dense downtown. Here, you can walk or bicycle to many worksites and schools. Hopefully, there are areas of Denver that are similar.

4. Entertainment expenses. A little treat now and then is fine, but most of us treat ourselves too much, especially restaurant food. Our American diet could be another whole thread all its own. Short version: Eat basic, eat at home, brown bag it if possible, cook at home as entertainment. Skip $8 movie tix in favor of netflix, or borrow FREE movies from the LIBRARY. Pop your own popcorn. Skip alcohol and soda pops. Tap water is free. Tea bags are cheap.

5. No pets. No babies - yet. None. Pets are as expensive as having children - it's all outgo. Pet the neighbor's dog, cat or baby, then hand it back. As far as starting a family - wait until you have a home of your own.

Most couples have to start out very basic, we did. I used to color my wife's hair for her, rather than spend $65 at the salon (that was 1975). Clipped coupons, went to multiple stores with those coupons, bought the specials, took cheap trips by car. Sold the second car, car pooled, etc. Saved for 3 years, bought a house in the way out suburbs. We took a raincheck on having a family, best choice we ever made, it's not for everyone, but for us it was the solution.

You can do it.

s/Mike
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Monument/ Colorado Springs
137 posts, read 708,571 times
Reputation: 52
As for the "rat race"... Denver is much, much, much slower and laid back than NY, and Colorado Springs is even slower than Denver. It's really grown a lot over the years, and for us natives it really does feel like a "rat race", but even so- you'll probably think we're all turtles and snails. Colorado Springs is a prettier setting than Denver, but Denver is kept up a little nicer. Denver has more flowers in the medians, landscaped parks, etc. Either way I agree some with MapFreak: realize that we move slow here... so try not to be in too much of a hurry when you get in your car, and try to not honk at us too much. We like to dilly-dally.
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:35 PM
 
82 posts, read 505,500 times
Reputation: 53
No problems there. We are happy to slow things down.
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
106 posts, read 521,226 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by antipode12
OK - so we're thinking about making the move, right, and we're crunching the numbers...
How do two teachers make it in the Denver area?!?

I mean, this is a serious question. Am I missing something?

Here are the details:
2 teachers - avg salary of 38K each = 76K per year, or $4100 per month after taxes.
*****
So, am I really living extravagantly, or do two teachers in CO really live check to check?

We're concerned...
I have your solution... MOVE TO CONNECTICUT! Teachers make on average $60,000 a year and if you want to be a principal they make on average $100,000+. It's no joke, I could show you the website that shows the salaries across the state. Cost of living is not THAT much higher here than Denver so you two would be making out like bandits--especially if you two were principals. Why not make $200,000 between the two of you? heh...

Hey, I moved here because of opportunity. I don't look at the cost of living, I look at how much potential there is. I probably make 3 times what I would have in Colorado... My wife and I decided that even if we didn't like it here we could always fly anywhere we wanted on this kind of salary... It is so easy to get to an airport here...

I'm going to say this again and again and again until all of you in every forum is sick of me...
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
106 posts, read 521,226 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east
5. No pets. No babies - yet. None. Pets are as expensive as having children - it's all outgo. Pet the neighbor's dog, cat or baby, then hand it back. As far as starting a family - wait until you have a home of your own.

You can do it.

s/Mike
Pets are as expensive as children?????? That's nonsense. I suppose if you have a dog that weighs 250 lbs. maybe. But a cat? Or a mouse? They eat hardly anything. I suppose there might be a vet bill or two but it's not like taking care of a child by any means. The upside of having a pet is tremendous and I don't think this should be overlooked in the hopes of saving a few bucks. Coming home to a dog or cat, who cares nothing about what happened during your day or your mood, loves you just the same every single day.

As far as starting a family... We did it when we were in school. It was tough but oh well. There's nothing like having children and this should not be overlooked in hopes of saving a few bucks so you can go to the movies... Having children cannot be put off until you make more money or when you get that dream house, because what if it never happens??? There's a time limit!

By the way... We were the masters at saving money... My wife doesn't like to spend money--even now!
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